The Place beyond the Pines ★★★★
Set the recorder for this one, as it’s being somewhat thrown away in a post-midnight slot. This indie melodrama from director/co-writer Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine) stars Ryan Gosling as the stunt motorcyclist and father to Eva Mendes’s baby son who is pursued by Bradley Cooper’s chiselled cop after a heist. A plot swerve you won’t foresee follows. With its diners, carnivals, trailers and auto shops, it offers a sincere caricature of small-town America that embraces big themes like fatherhood, honour and the American Dream. It also boasts an eclectic soundtrack that brings together Faith No More’s Mike Patton and classical composer Arvo Part. A mean and moody treat.
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